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SOC 120 week 8 assignment Future of Modernization Paper

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Future of Modernization Paper 1
Running head: FUTURE OF MODERNIZATION PAPER
Future of Modernization Paper
Dawnette Dunkley
University of Phoenix
Sociology--120
Instructor: Loren Butler

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Future of Modernization Paper 2
Future of Modernization Paper
Modernization, a concept sociologists use to describe the changing patterns set in motion by
the industrial revolution. Modernization attracts many divergent views and theories and its
influence on society is highly debatable. At issue is the theory of modernization that posits that
cultural change, economic development, and political change are predictable patterns that go
hand in hand. Regardless of people’s stance on this issue, some facts on which they can agree
are that, society is always evolving, changes have good and bad consequences, and the rate of
change occurs much faster, especially with the information revolution. Some theorists argue that
the advent of the industrial revolution created a different type of society; one that forces
developing countries to find ways to achieve similar achievements as their more affluent
counterparts or be left permanently behind. The reality is, not all modernized societies have
equal success in sustaining the process of modernization because of differences in politics,
education, and other institutions. This paper aims to examine how modernization manifests itself
in American society; it will also explore the likelihood of the continuation of modernization in
the United States. Additionally, it will examine whether or not modernization is a worldwide
trend and further explore the consequences of modernization. Furthermore, it will state which
theorist best reflect my perception of modernization.
The industrial revolution has had profound effect on American society and most people would
agree that its influence caused drastic social, economic, and institutional changes. Modernization
manifests itself in American society in various ways; these include the decline of small,
traditional communities; the expansion of personal choice; increase in social diversity; and
orientation toward the future and a keen awareness of time. With regard to decline of small,
traditional communities; for thousands of years small, rural communities in the United States

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Future of Modernization Paper 3
were known for their cohesive characteristics. These close-knit communities revolved primarily
around family, close friends, and neighbors; it was a period when interactions between people
were more personal and people believed they could count on their neighbors. These types of
communities helped to provide people a sense of security, purpose, identity, and solidarity (Neitz,
2009). However, one has to be careful not to over-romanticize the past because preindustrial
society had its own share of problems with less choices and less of the conveniences that people
take for granted today. The old traditional ways of living seem to be nonexistent today; with
people traveling to rural villages and small towns to remind themselves about how much simpler
life used to be.
Most of today’s population are products of generations of people who chose to migrate from
rural areas to cities in search of employment, after the economy placed more emphasis on
industry and less on agriculture. This move brought about the urbanization phenomenon, which
is still evident today with the majority of American population living in urban areas. To a certain
extent, one could say that modern society erodes many of the traditional norms and behaviors of
the past. However, one may argue that one of the drawbacks of preindustrial American society is
that it places more limitations on personal choices and promotes conformity; whereas, modern
American society promotes individualism, allowing people control over their own personal lives.
Expansion of personal choice is another manifestation of modernization in the United States;
modern American society essentially promotes a more rational worldview. Increases in
impersonal bureaucracy, city growth, and exposure to people of different backgrounds created
the perfect storm for diversity and forward-thinking. Unlike pre-industrial society that tends to
look in the past, modern society is more oriented to look to the future; finding new and
innovative ways to improve people’s lives. This manifestation of modernization is largely

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